More Preventative Healthcare for Women Covered by Insurance

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, August 1 2012 at 6:33 PM, Updated: Wed, August 1 2012 at 8:59 PM

Millions of women in America are on track to see more preventative healthcare covered under their insurance.

"It would make it a lot easier for single moms like me," said mother, Jessica Camargo.

Under the Affordable Care Act's mandate, employers' insurance will have to fully cover women's health services like annual breast exams, prenatal care, HPV screenings and contraception. No copay will be necessary.

However, some devoutly religious business owners say providing contraception to employees is against their religion and the mandate violates their constitutional freedom of religion.

"Really what we're talking about is a medical issue, it's not a political issue, it's not about religious debate. It's about basic preventative healthcare," said Cynthia Pappas, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon.

"Religious issues aside, it's empowering, it's healthy," said Dr. Daniel Laury, a gynecologist in Medford.

Laury said contraception is essential and especially important during a recession.

"People have less pregnancies because they can't afford the outcome of unprotected relations...having children is very expensive," said Laury.

He said birth control is used for more than just preventing pregnancies.

"There's at least nine benefits," began Laury.

"Less breast cysts, less ovarian cancer, less uterine cancer, less cramps, less anemia, less acne, we can go on and on," he continued.

Meantime, Jessica Camargo said available and affordable contraception is imperative for women.

"It's important to have it available, it's important for them to go get it, and to feel good about getting it and be able to afford it," she said.

Right now, religious organizations like churches are exempt from having their insurance cover contraception.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 47-million women will be affected by the Affordable Care Act's mandate. Insurance plans won't be required to cover contraception until the plan's next renewal date, which for many women will be January first.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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